Conference attracts the who’s who

2011-06-18 17:23

What do a mining magnate, a beauty queen, a minister, a soccer coach, a radio DJ, a business executive, a TV actor and a tenderpreneur have in common?

They all shared a comfortable business lounge, sipping expensive whiskies, ate delicious meals and nodded their heads to a mixture of Afro-pop and rhythm & soul music.

They were brought together under the same roof for five days – on the sidelines of the ANCYL’s national elective conference in Midrand – to get a feel of proceedings, network and just chill.

Some of the conference guests spent up to R180 000 to mingle with youth leader Julius Malema and other influential young lions such as mining magnate ­Patrice Motsepe, former beauty queen and businesswoman Basetsana Kumalo, actor Seputla Sebogodi, former SABC CEO Dali Mpofu and premiers Cassel Mathale and Ace Magashule.

Inside the conference, several senior politicians, civil servants and a few diplomats, ministers like Paul Mashatile, Angie Motshekga and Tina Joemat -Pettersson followed the proceedings with interest.

Also present were KwaZulu-Natal DJ Siyanda, seen as President Jacob Zuma’s favourite DJ, and several Limpopo ­businessmen such as property magnate David Mabilu, Ali Boshielo and construction mogul Steve Bosch.

Expensive whiskies like Glenfiddich and Johnny Walker Black flowed freely.

At least six times a day between 100 and 200 guests at a time were treated to delicious meals of beef fillet, lamb kebabs and fish served with grilled prawns. In between, they would kill time by eating snacks, peanuts and biltong.

Upon arrival, the guests were given a gift box containing a bottle of Johnny Walker Black, a magazine and a small car toy, said one of the organisers.

Almost the entire Limpopo administration, led by Mathale, mayors and government officials, were there to support the man seen by many as the power ­behind the throne in the province.

Malema is considered one of the most influential figures in the province.

The outcome of the league election was expected to have a serious impact across the Limpopo body politic.

Politicians, civil servants and ­businessmen close to Malema had feared a backlash in the event that he lost, while their counterparts who do not support him feared they could be pushed further towards the margins of power.

After Malema’s challenger, Lebogang Maile, surrended on Friday night, handing the throne over to the popular youth leader, the business lounge erupted into scenes of jubilation as people, mostly from Limpopo, struggled to contain their jubilation.


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